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Berliner Philharmoniker
Louis Langrée

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Overture to La clemenza di Tito K. 621 (00:06:01)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Symphony No. 40 in G minor K. 550 (00:34:22)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Davide penitente, Cantata for two sopranos, tenor, choir and orchestra K. 469 (00:51:04)

    Simon Halsey Chorus Master, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Werner Güra Tenor, Jane Archibald Soprano, Ann Hallenberg Soprano

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    Louis Langrée in conversation with Emmanuel Pahud (00:18:36)

The Symphony in G minor KV 550 – together with Die Kleine Nachtmusik – is one of Mozart’s most played orchestral compositions. And that although (or precisely because?) this work has provoked the most varied of interpretations. The Mozart biographer Hermann Abert heard in it the “sharpest expression of that deep, fatalistic pessimism” to which the composer fell victim in the last years of his life, while Robert Schumann emphasised the music’s “Greek floating grace”.

We can await with curiosity what interpretation Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival and principal conductor of the Camerata Salzburg, prefers when he debuts as conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Davide penitente, like the overture to the opera La clemenza di Tito, is a rarely heard work by Mozart. The large-scale psalm cantata was composed in 1785, and is based on freely written prayers of penitence and repentance by an unknown poet as commissioned by the Viennese Musicians’ Society; the Society held regular benefit concerts in the Viennese Burgtheater for the care of widows and orphans, and Mozart had endeavoured to become a member of it.

When composing the cantata, the composer made use of material from his unfinished C minor Mass from 1782-83. The premiere, with a chorus of 60 singers and a truly symphonic orchestra, took place under Mozart’s own direction. Since the composer neglected, however, to present his baptismal certificate in due time, he was refused membership – despite the fact that a social insurer probably never again received such a beautiful “membership fee”.

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